Canada’s 10 most amazing sounds


Niagara Falls is spectacular to look at, but also awesome to listen to, as well. (Julia Pelish/

Connect Hearing, Canada’s largest network of hearing-health clinics, wants 2013 to be the year that Canadians focus on their hearing health. As part of that effort, the company’s director of professional practice, MJ DeSousa, offers her top 10 amazing sounds in the country exclusively to

Column by MJ DeSousa
Connect Hearing Director of Professional Practice

At Connect Hearing, I deal with clients who are often rejuvenated when their hearing is improved through treatment or prescription of a listening device. Once sounds they missed have returned, they can turn emotional. Their experiences have made me wonder what sounds I would long to listen to again if my own hearing was damaged. Besides the sounds related to friends and family, there are natural and manmade forms of ear candy that I know I wouldn’t want to do without. In Canada, we have an abundance of special sounds from across the country. These ones, I believe, are the 10 Most Amazing Sounds in Canada.

1. Niagara Falls

Waterfalls command your attention, in part because you hear them much earlier than you see them. In the case of Niagara Falls, the sound created is nature’s equivalent of a lion’s roar. A visit to the Falls is a sensory experience. Whether it’s the sprinkle of droplets that tickle your skin or the awesome sight of a rainbow that captivates your eyes, Niagara truly is a wonder. Listening to it is just as moving. The natural wonder that separates Canada and the United States produces 4.4 million gigawatts of power each year, more than double the output of the Hoover Dam, and you can hear that energy produced when you stand next to it.

2. Whales and Killer Whales on the West Coast

We call it whale watching, but it may as well be whale listening. Our ears that often pick up the presence of these fascinating creatures a second or so before our eyes clue in. When they surface, whales gush water out of their blowholes, and that is what causes us to look in most cases. The sound of their exhalations is what first gets us excited. With orcas, or killer whales, that roam the west coast in the waters off of British Columbia, we are treated to the additional sound of a wicked splash when they decide to show off, jumping out of the ocean in view of tour boats.

3. Thunder in Saskatchewan

Believe it or not, thunder is one of the world’s most amazing sounds — and many people love it. Lightning causes thunder by first heating the air to a temperature that’s approximately three times hotter than the sun. As the air cools rapidly, it emits the loud thunder pop, which is one of the most riveting and heart-pounding sounds known to man. In Saskatchewan, the big skies are riveting, especially during a storm, when you can see lightning approaching from far in the distance and listen to the thunder as it rolls close.

4. Cheers at NHL Arenas in Seven Cities

The sound of victory — whether it follows a goal being scored or the arrival on stage of a newly elected president — is one of the most emotionally uplifting sounds any of us could ever hear. Life truly wouldn’t be the same without being able to take part in and enjoy the cheers and whistles that go along with being on the winning side. With the NHL lockout finally over, the season will begin in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, and fans will once more enjoy the sound of rooting for the home team.

5. Moose Calls

Estimates say there are up to 1 million moose living in Canada. They are among our nation’s symbols and their call — a loud, throaty grunt like a diesel engine — are one of our most precious and distinct sounds. Whether you’re among the 32,000 in Manitoba or the approximately 150,000 in Newfoundland & Labrador, hearing or seeing a moose is always a thrill.

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6. Songbirds in Point Pelee National Park

Song sparrows are among the bird’s whose calls are adored by bird lovers and anyone who revels being out in nature. Their melodious songs are a naturally occurring treasure, one of the many reasons our planet is so amazing. In Point Pelee National Park near Windsor, Ontario, more than 370 species of birds have been recorded. The park is one of the top locales in North America for spotting birds and butterflies. In fact, there’s an annual Festival of the Birds each spring.

7. Screech-in Ceremonies in Newfoundland

In Newfoundland, the screech-in ceremony is a hilarious rite of passage for any visitor. It involves the person being screeched-in being asked to repeat a long, barely coherent and hysterical list of promises, before kissing a dead cod and throwing back a shot of screech (re: rum). The sight is something to see, but the laughter is what’s special about every screech-in.

8. Sounds of Quebec Carnival

From the theme song that celebrates Bonhomme, the mascot of the annual winter celebration, to the giggles of children whizzing down one of the ski hills to the raucous dance music that takes over the attraction at night, the annual Quebec Carnivale is one fun time — and not something you could enjoy to its fullest if your hearing was compromised. See the video below to know what I mean!

9. Fireworks in Vancouver

The sight of pyrotechnics wouldn’t be complete without the snap or crackle when they go off — not to mention the whirr of anticipation just before they explode. While you should wear earplugs when you watch fireworks, you should still make sure you catch the noise they make. It’s part of the excitement!

10. The National Anthem

O, Canada! makes us remember our place in the world and contributes to the identity of each of us. Hearing it, no matter where the setting, reminds us of that fact and of the amazing things this country offers.

MJ DeSousa is the Director of Professional Practice at Connect Hearing, Canada’s largest network of hearing-health clinics, which offers complimentary hearing screenings at 112 clinics across Canada. She makes appearances on television and at industry conferences speaking about the need to raise awareness about hearing loss. Her articles appear in Epoch Times and other publications.

Vicky is the worldly publisher of Having graduated from McGill University in Montreal, she has set about building a talented team of travel experts to deliver to you words and images of the very best places to see and experience in Canada. Based in Yorkville in Toronto, Vicky regularly jet sets around Canada — be sure to catch up with her when she's in your part of the country.

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